November 22,2000

Middlebury College Says Hello To "Bye, Bye Birdie"



MIDDLEBURY, Vt. The Middlebury College Musical Players (MCMP), a student group dedicated to bringing musical theater productions to campus, will perform "Bye, Bye Birdie" on Friday, Dec.1 at 9 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 2 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 3 at 1 p.m. All performances will take place at the McCullough Student Center on Old Chapel Road off South Main Street (Route 30).

The plot of the show, which is set in the late 50s, revolves around rock icon Conrad Birdie, who is being drafted into the army. His manager Albert Peterson arranges for Conrad to perform one last song and bestow one more kiss on a lucky fan. The honor falls upon Kim MacAfee, much to the disgust of her steady boyfriend Hugo. As the show progresses, Albert must come to terms with his secretary and girlfriend Rosie, a mob of angry parents, and frenetic teens.

"It’s a timeless theme," said Tom Marks, director of the show and a Middlebury College senior. "We saw fans go nuts over Elvis in the 50s and Beatle-mania in the 60s, and we’re seeing the same thing today with ’N Sync and the Backstreet Boys. The show still rings very true."

Senior Kirk German stars as the over-wrought and indecisive Albert. This is German’s second lead role with MCMP his first was in 1998 as Matt in “Fantastiks.” Albert’s long-time love interest, Rosie Alvarez, is being played by sophomore Maressa Perreault, who is making her Middlebury College stage debut.

The rest of the cast is a mix of newcomers and veterans to MCMP. First-year student Erin King of Waterbury, Vt., stars as Kim, to whom Conrad will give his farewell kiss. Mike Stevens, another first-year student, is taking on the role of Conrad. Juniors Katharine Decker and Mike Apicelli, who both appeared in last year’s production of "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," have returned to play Kim’s parents.

According to Marks, the 25-person cast and 15-person orchestra have high expectations for "Birdie." The show features well-known musical numbers such as "Put on a Happy Face," "Telephone Hour," and "Kids." "We hope to draw life-long fans of the show, as well as those who have never seen it before. It’s fun theatre. You can’t help but leave with a very big smile," said Marks.

General admission is $5, and admission for children, students, and seniors is $3. Tickets are available at the Middlebury Inn, the Middlebury College McCullough Student Center Information Desk, or by phone at (802) 443-4900.

-- end --